Best Playmaker: Crosby vs. Forsberg vs. Jagr
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12-16-2012, 06:46 PM
Join Date: Feb 2010
Originally Posted by
That's bias if I've ever heard it. "Unfortunately, the only comparison I can use is Jagr's all-time highest scoring season."
Look, all I'm saying is that Crosby in his first 7 seasons was a better playmaker than both Jagr and Forsberg. Prime Jagr was one of the most dominant offensive players in the history of hockey, and Crosby can only hope that he one day reaches Jagr's levels of dominance. However, none of that changes the fact that Crosby was a better playmaker through 7 years of NHL hockey than Jagr was. That's all I'm saying. I'm not saying it's definitely Crosby, there are certainly some great arguments in Jagr's favour, but there is also reason to choose Crosby.
The thing is, Jagr was a perfectly capable playmaker. A lack of opportunity because he was being played with weaker linemates due to the Penguins having one of if not the most talented player ever on their top line playing with a line he had established chemistry with. Jagr was the finisher, he had no finisher to pass to. Crosby has had finishers, even if they're only guys like Chris Kunitz. Kunitz has better numbers than a Shawn McEachern or Troy Loney/Bob Errey that Jagr was playing with in his early days. And in the middle? Jagr had a broken down version of Bryan Trottier, rebuilt as a third-line center. In 1992-93, Jagr was moved to the second line and given Ron Francis as a center. Still no goal scoring from his linemates, but at least it was an offensive environment. He posted 99 points that year and the following. In 1994-95, Lemieux didn't play, and Jagr as you know won the scoring title. Were it not for Lemieux, Jagr wins again in 1996. In 96-97, Jagr scored 95 points in 63 games on the second line. Were Lemieux not in the league and Jagr healthy ("what would it be healthy" always being the assumption in arguments related to Lindros, Kariya, or Crosby) then Jagr wins a (hypothetical) third-straight Art Ross.
Crosby would have won the last two if he were healthy and kept his pace up, matching Jagr's hypothetical three. But a young Jagr also had playoff heroics where he had to carry the Pens with Lemieux out of the lineup. Crosby was carried to the Finals and then to the Cup by Malkin. He was arguably outplayed by Fleury as well.
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